An Anatomicosurgical Study of the Temporal Branch of the Facial Nerve

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

THE SURGICAL ANATOMY of the temporal branch of the facial nerve was studied bilaterally in 10 embalmed cadaveric heads. Particular attention was paid to the relationships between the temporal branch, the galeal-fascial layers, and the fat pads of the temporal-zygomatic region. The temporal branch of the facial nerve pierces the parotidomasseteric fascia below the zygomatic arch. This branch travels first in the subcutaneous tissue and then, above the zygomatic arch, in the subgaleal space. The temporal branch divides into an anterior, a middle (frontal), and a posterior ramus soon after it pierces the parotid fascia. The course of the terminal twigs of the temporal branch of the facial nerve in the subgaleal space is extremely variable, with their location being at times posterior to the anterior one-fourth of the temporalis muscle. Occasionally, a twig for the frontalis muscle may run in between the two layers of the superficial temporal fascia. Because of these findings (anteroposterior variability of temporal branch twigs and recurrent intrafascial twig), Yasargil's interfascial dissection may at times fail. A combined frontotemporal scalp/superficial temporal fascia dissection is anatomically suited to preserve the temporal branch of the facial nerve.

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